ALUMNI NOTES


David A. Vanderah (’66)
I published a book, Celebrate Dubuque!. The volume commemorates 175 years of the city's history and development, 1833-2008. The text developed from information I presented in twenty-five sessions of an adult education class at the Roberta Kuhn Center, The center is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity, BVM, at their Mt. Carmel headquarters in Dubuque. Circulating copies are available at the Carnegie-Stout Library, Dubuque. Copies were presented to the Academic Resource Center Library and Center for Dubuque History. In 2004, I retired as a library manager in Solano County, California. I was a reference librarian in San Francisco and Marin County, California and previously in Louisiana where I earned a master's in library and information science from Louisiana State University. Recent activity includes organizing a community Writers' Circle at St. John's Episcopal Church, Dubuque. In December, 2011, Dr. Kevin Koch presented an exciting writing workshop to 20 members and friends of the group. I was invited to lead a fall, 2012, course, "Writers Choice," at the Roberta Kuhn Center.


Jim Scholten (’70)
I am a '70 grad of Loras with an English major, P.E. minor, and earned a secondary teacher's certificate.  I played on Loras' baseball team all four years.  Right after college, I taught English at Newman H.S. in Mason City, IA, and was the head boys’ basketball and baseball coach.  In 1977, we moved to Nevada, IA, where I had the same duties at Nevada High School.  While at Nevada, I earned a Master’s Degree in educational counseling at Iowa State University in 1980.  In 1984, I accepted a position at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA.  At Morningside, I worked in the Academic Support Center and was the head baseball coach.  Last spring, I retired from Morningside College after 28 years.  Currently, I am working at the College Center in South Sioux City, NE, as a Student Support Specialist.  In 1998, I was elected to the Iowa Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
My wife, Deb, is the Public Health Director of four northeast Nebraska counties and has an office in Wayne, NE.  We have lived in Sioux City, IA, for 29 years. Our daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Mike Ganley, live in Edina, MN, and have twin 15 month old daughters--Lauren and Stella, who are first grandchildren.  Our son, J.D., works at a law office in Seattle, WA.


David Welsh (‘80)
I am currently the Development Editor at McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning Series. I have been employed in the Higher Education publishing industry for over 30 years. I also have an Advertising Specialty business and I am the Iowa Coordinator for the Tenth Amendment Center.


Valorie Woerdehoff ('82)
Valorie Woerdehofff is currently the Grant Writing Director and also have just completed her Master of Arts Degree in Theology, both at Loras.  She plans to apply her recent studies to her ongoing creative writing pursuits.


Anne Stattelman (’83)
Anne Stattelman is living with three teenagers in Pueblo, Colorado and still directing efforts at Posada, a nonprofit that provides services, shelter and housing to the low-income and homeless population in Pueblo and surrounding areas.  Current initiatives include housing for homeless Veterans and outreach to the teen homeless population. Posada is 25 years young this year and we just purchased a new building for our services and teen program.  Posada's address will be 225 Colorado beginning June 4, 2012.  Always appreciate visitors from Loras--Pueblo is on the way to Santa Fe! 


Molly (Hickey) Forlow (’84)
My husband David and I have lived in Lake Bluff, IL, for almost 15 years now.  We have two sons (Ian, 18/Liam 14) and a Shetland Sheepdog named Angus.  I recently began working at Lake Forest Book Store (a small book seller) and am loving it.  While I'm not out scaling any mountains, I do find that raising two teenagers is equally as treacherous.  I caught up with Jim Collins this past fall in Lake Bluff.  It was a pleasure to see him after all these years.


Tim Wuebker (’90)
Tim Wuebker has published a digital novel titled 2017: Third Term, available at Amazon.com.  Catholic Relief Services receives 15% of the profits from the book.  Tim has also been running marathons, teaching high school, and teaching college English.  Tim says, “I have Loras and the English Department especially to thank for all for forming my sense of literature, and giving me a happy life of books.”


Kevin Shelton (’91)
This past year has been a good one for me and my family, and God truly blessed us in many ways.  My boys are now going on 14 (Michael) and 12 (Matthew) soon, and my oldest will be coming to the high school I work at next year as a freshman - I am looking forward to it, but not sure if he is sold on the concept yet.  I had an opportunity to coach Michael one more year for his 8th grade feeder hoops team, which was a real treat.  It doesn't always go smoothly when you are coaching your own kids, but I am very lucky to have had many more positive experiences in this realm than bumps in the road.  Wendy and I are very proud with their efforts in the classroom and both boys continue to run track, cross country and play hoops.  Wendy continues to teach 6th grade religious education while also teaching 3rd grade at Valley View Elementary in McHenry, IL.  We participated in our first sprint triathlon together in Lake Geneva, and found it to be a very satisfying experience to complete - once I got over the realization that I am not the strongest swimmer and was absolutely thrilled to make it back to solid land.  As a family, we ventured to Destin, Florida, for a family vacation and really enjoyed the clear water and great weather.  We also made our annual pilgrimage to Sun City West, Arizona, to visit my parents for Spring Break.  I am still the principal at Johnsburg High School in Johnsburg, IL.  Professionally, this year has been very positive, as I received two honors recently.  The first was being named the Illinois High School Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principal Association (IPA).  I will have the opportunity to travel to Washington DC in October as the Illinois representative in the National Association of Secondary Principals Distinguished Principals recognition ceremony.  The second was being chosen as the president-elect of the (IPA).  These two honors are very humbling, coming from such a prestigious organization.


Peter Moris (’93)
As of Feb 28, I've been in Norman, OK. Much to Andy Auge's dismay, I'm actually working in "higher education." Well, not really. Although I technically work for the University of Oklahoma, in reality, I work for athletics.


Kyle Murray (’95)
I relocated from Seattle to Manhattan to join the Practical Law Company as an attorney-editor, focusing on health care reform and ERISA compliance for health & welfare benefit plans.


Lisa Higgs (’97)
I continue to write poetry following the publication of my chapbook, Lodestar, last spring. I hope to finalize a full-length poetry manuscript by the end of the year. I currently serve as the President of the Vachel Lindsay Association and continue to teach part-time at the University of Illinois, Springfield. My family (1 husband, 2 daughters, 2 dogs) provides enough enthusiasm and laughter to make each day an adventure.


Trela (Hansen) Rottinghaust (’97)
I’m out of the classroom for the first time since graduation!  I’m still working in the same middle school that I’ve been at since 2003, but another teacher and I stepped into new roles as Instructional Coaches for the next two years.  Our focus is formative assessment, but since a huge district push right now is non-fiction writing, we spend a fair amount of time working with that as well.  I usually spend my days popping from classroom observation to classroom observation, giving feedback in between, and modeling lessons here and there.  I miss having my own classroom, but I also completely love what I’m doing now.


Michelle Ruggaber Dougherty (’98)
I earned my PhD from Marquette University in 2004 and taught for a couple of years after that. For now, my work is raising my boys, Thomas (5) and Benedict (3), and my baby girl, Cecilia, who was born in May 2011. I look forward to teaching again soon.


Lisa Holl (’01)
After graduating in 2001 with my English Literature degree, I attended law school at the University Of Iowa College of Law. From there, I moved a bit farther south to Ottumwa, where I joined the Wapello County Attorney's Office as an Assistant County Attorney prosecuting criminal offenses on behalf of the State of Iowa. In 2010, I was appointed County Attorney and remain in that position today. For a refreshing side job, I also occasionally teach criminal law classes at the Buena Vista University campus here in town.


Brianna Wolbers (’02)
After over 7 years as a software technical writer, I'm taking some time off to enjoy the summer. I'm staying busy as I continue to volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters and take on more volunteer responsibilities at the American Diabetes Association. This fall, I hope to finally put to use my MLS degree that I achieved in 2009.


Rachel Rickertsen (Dirksen) (’04)
At Loras, I double majored in Biochemistry and English Literature. Since graduation, I completed medical school at the University Of Iowa Carver College Of Medicine in May 2009. Shortly thereafter, I married Blake Dirksen (another Loras alum), and we moved to Denver, CO. I will complete my residency in internal medicine at the University of Colorado-Denver in June 2012. I recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and I begin in August of 2012. Blake and I are very excited to be moving back to the wonderful state of Iowa and we are particularly happy to be closer to our families. Though I have not written any great novels, I do write poetry about some of the amazing, beautiful, and heartbreaking moments I have experienced in healthcare. I will forever be grateful to my Loras professors and classmates for nurturing both my love of science and literature. 


Kathleen Volk (’05)
I have served as the Student Services Coordinator of the Learning Commons at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI, since March 2011.  In this position, I coordinate and supervise subject tutoring for a variety of disciplines as well as the Math Center.  I also lead academic skill workshops and develop retention-focused programming for Carroll's new Physician Assistant graduate program.  I'm enjoying a return to the Wordsworthian "rustic life" west of Milwaukee and work out, hike, cook, game, and investigate craft brews in my free time.  


Michael Danaher (’06)
I currently work at Guerrero Howe Custom Media, in Chicago, IL, where I was recently promoted to Senior Features Editor. I've been with the company for almost three years now. I've rediscovered my love of writing fiction, so recently some friends and I created a writing group where we workshop pieces on a biweekly basis. Anything from short fiction to nonfiction to poetry is welcome. I am also now engaged to Natalie Catron (Loras alum, '06), and we will be getting married this July in Chicago.


Alissa Kocer (’07)
I am halfway through my MFA program at Western Connecticut State University. My thesis is a memoir about coping with my father's cancer and death and running my first marathon in his honor. I'm running the Med City Marathon in Rochester, Minnesota, for the American Cancer Society on May 27. In August, I am hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine.


Margaret McNair (’07)
I am graduating from DePaul University with an M.Ed. on June 9th.  I have been hired to teach full-time at Trinity High School in River Forest, IL, a Catholic, single-gender, IB and College Prep school.  I will be teaching Freshman Seminar, English College Prep I and Speech.  I'm currently living in Chicago and will take a brief hiatus from graduate school but will likely go back within a few years.  


Barb Simon (’07)
I am close to finishing my second year as the President’s Executive Assistant/Board Secretary at Loras College.  It has been a quick two years and I am enjoying being back on campus as a staff person.  I will (likely) begin graduate studies this fall. My husband, Dave, and I are almost empty nesters.  Our son, Paul, is in the army and will deploy to Afghanistan April 28th for a nine-month tour.  Our son, Russell, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts two years ago and will be married on June 30th.  It will soon just be Dave and I and the two dachshunds holding down the fort.


Amy Hall (’08)
I am engaged to Matt Balk ('08).  We will be married August 4, 2012 in my hometown, Orland Hills, IL.  We currently live in Muncie, Indiana, where Matt is attending Ball State University for his doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition.  He has about a year before comprehensive exams and his dissertation.  I teach 8th grade language arts at a R.J. Baskett Middle school in Gas City, Indiana.  I also coach track for the middle school.  We are looking forward to married life, and we are enjoying life as "adults."


Andrea (Urbain) Raker ('08)
I have been teaching English at Maquoketa High School in Maquoketa, Iowa since August 2008. I currently teach English 9, English 10, and Creative Writing. I am also the head girls' tennis coach, a student senate sponsor, and a National Honor Society sponsor. This spring I finished my Masters of Arts in Education from Ashford University. On June 17, 2011 I married Chris Raker and we are enjoying our first year of marriage!


Jessica Schmitt (’08)
A Special Thank You and Appreciation for my Loras Education.
As a graduate in the class of 2008, with a degree in Management and minor in MIS, the overwhelming question that May of ‘08 was, “Now what?” I am a native Iowan, born and raised just outside of Dubuque, IA. Throughout the four years I spent at Loras, I developed a great network and was blessed to be taught by some amazing professors. During my Management thesis class, I had come to the decision that my goal would be to move to Minneapolis and work for the Target Headquarters. That being said, here I am! I have been working for Target Corporation for almost 4 years now in the field of Information Protection of the business and technology. I am loving every day on the job, but as I began my third year of my dream job, I knew something was missing. I love the business field, but I had a secret passion my entire life. That passion became stronger as I worked with some great professors in the English Department that truly inspired me to set high expectations and develop as a writer. After my English 101 class in 2005, I dreamed of writing a novel. I had quite the imagination at the time and simply learned to love writing. In June of 2011, I began my journey as an author. In only four months’ time, I completed my first official manuscript for “Monster Under My Bed,” a women’s fiction novel about a young woman moving to a large city, while slowly losing herself to evil temptations. After the hard work was complete (or so I thought), I decided to work with a publishing agency to self-publish my first book. “Monster Under My Bed,” is available for sale on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. As I currently spend my spare time working on the sequel, I can’t help but let my mind wander to my years at Loras and how the experience has truly changed me as a professional, and as a person. So to Loras College and the amazing staff, Thank You!


Kellie (Monaghan) Wagner (’08)
Since graduating from Loras with Secondary Education and English majors in 2008, I have been teaching full-time in the classroom. I teach at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, IA. I teach English and Journalism classes in addition to advising for the school bi-weekly newspaper and annual yearbook.
I attended the University of Iowa and earned my Journalism Endorsement in 2011, and I am currently working on a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in reading from Mount Mercy University.
I was married in 2010 to John Wagner, and I am loving my life as a wife and a high school teacher.


Liz (Elsbernd) Kruse (’08)
After serving for just over a year at Loras as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, I started a new job at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in October 2011 as the International Student and Scholar Advisor. I absolutely love my new job working with students who come to study at UW-P from all over the world. While my husband, Ryan, and I traveled quite a bit in 2011/2012 (Guatemala, Bahamas, Florida, and San Francisco), it is nice to have the world come to me every day that I go to work! Motivated in part because so many of my students are from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, I began taking Arabic language class in Fall of 2011 and am looking forward to continuing these classes as long as my teacher (from Egypt) remains in Dubuque! 


Anne Leonard ('08)
I am currently still living in Santa Barbara, California and working as a children's librarian for the nationwide non-profit organization, Girls Inc. It has been a fun and challenging experience and this past May marked my two year anniversary working at Girls Inc. When I'm not working I spend my time hiking, reading, and training for my first sprint triathlon!


Alison Balaskovits (’09)
I am a recent graduate of the MFA program at Bowling Green State University and a current Ph.D. candidate at the University of Missouri. My fictions can be found or are upcoming in Gargoyle, Monkeybicycle, Vestal Review, Shimmer, and online at <kill author, Mad Hatters Review and others. I was recently engaged to another BGSU grad, Nathan Riggs, and live in Columbia Missouri. One of my cats is severely overweight. 


Louis Jelinek (’09)
I am currently in China's 5th largest city (Chengdu, Sichuan) and just started my second year of teaching English.


Katie Schmidt (’09)
I have graduated from National Louis University with a Type 04 certificate in Early Childhood Education. I continue to further my education and I’m working on an ESL endorsement. I also volunteer in a first grade at an elementary school in Chicago.


Clare Horst (’11)
I have been working at McGraw-Hill in Dubuque as a Learning Solutions Associate since October. However, I will be leaving my job in August to go to grad school at Minnesota State, Mankato. I will be getting my master's degree in Piano Performance, and I have a graduate assistantship to accompany the University's concert choir. Also, I am recently engaged to Drew Chapman (another 2011 Loras alum:  Economics and International Studies major), and we will be getting married @ CTK on July 21st this year!


Angela Wycoff (’11) 
Outside of continually writing and aiming for publication, I've recently moved up in the working world by accepting a promotion in the position of Baker at my current place of employment. I also have a new niece to welcome into this world, and am pursuing the idea of returning to school to for my Master's in Writing. Outside of spending as much time as possible with my family, and keeping in contact with my friends from Loras, I'm as much a workaholic now as I was while attending.

 

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